What Can We Use Egg Cartons For? Make a Train

Fine MotorToddlers18 Comments

I’m not crunchy. I’m not green. At least I don’t go completely out of my way to be.

But I do every day basic things like recycling, shutting off the lights, and so on… (I’ve listed out my 9 ways to be Earth Friendly with the Kids.)

But my best green living tip?

And also my favorite is to reuse and upcycle items for play with the boys.

Items such as…

Perfect for fine motor practice - make an egg carton train!

Yes! Egg cartons!

We always have them on hand and use them for sorting quite frequently. But we’ve never really used the egg carton as the main object of the activity.

I decided this would be a fun medium for a toy for George, a toddler. I cut apart the egg carton into the individual egg pieces.

I wanted to punch holes through the bottom of each one, but couldn’t, so I punched two holes one on each (opposite) side.

I thought the pieces themselves could be used as homemade blocks.

Which they can. But with the addition of the holes and a pipe cleaner or two, it became a fine motor activity and we created a train for George to drive along the table on, saying ‘Choo choo!’.

It was fun to see him put the train together, Sticking the pipe cleaners through the tiny holes, concentrating hard on it.

egg carton train

But I really enjoyed watching him play with his creation the most.

A simple toy made from the recycling bin.

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  1. says

    Thank you for this great idea Jamie! As a Dad, I find it difficult to come up with wonderful activities like this off the top of my head. So it was your inspiration that allowed me to have so much fun with my son doing a Ghostbusters themed version of your pipe cleaner game.

    And my son is now amazing me with his level of fine motor skill. Thank you.

    If you’re interested, you can see what we played with on my Toddler Activities for Dads blog here: http://bigkidlittlekid.net/2014/08/27/ghostbusters-keymaster-helmet-toddler-activities-for-dads/

  2. Meranda says


    I tried to make your fine motor toddler egg carton train. i thought it would be a fun and easy acitivty. but i was wrong after getting all the craft together for the activity and my toddler, i tried to punch holes with a standard hole puncher, but it wouldnt fit over either plastic or paper egg cartons. So than i tried to cut holes with scissors, i tried my best but the craft was ruined because its too hard for a toddler to do it without big clear holes coming straight from each end. to do as a fun craft. he began cranky and felt discouraged he couldnt do it. and it wasnt his fault. i blame misinfomation on the instruction of this one.

    • says

      Such a bummer about that Meranda! I’m not sure if there’s differences in hole punchers, or the egg cartons. I can assure you that I did cut the holes with a hole puncher though. I wouldn’t have my toddler do it without those big holes either, it would be super frustrating for him. I totally understand. Maybe punch holes in paper instead and thread onto the pipe cleaner next time. Good luck!

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